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Thread: When to protest Alexandria City's extra-legal CHP renewal requirements?

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    When to protest Alexandria City's extra-legal CHP renewal requirements?

    My current CHP expires in August of 2015, and I can apply for renewal as early as next February (180-day rule).

    Alexandria City currently imposes several extra-legal requirements for renewal:
    • Application must be made in person
    • Application must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope
    • Application requires a copy of the previously-issued CHP
    • If using a military ID for handgun competence, they require "additional documentation/proof of firearm competency" without describing what comprises such documentation
    • The application fee is $50 plus $2 more if using a credit card
    • The application must be Notarized BEFORE submitting it to the Clerk.

    This on-line guidance is dated 04/08/2013, so it is relatively current.

    My question is, should I take pre-emptive action now, well in advance of my earliest renewal submission date, or should I wait until I submit my Commonwealth-compliant application, i.e., by mail, without a SASE, and without a copy of my current CHP to see if they reject it?

    And yes, I am more than willing to be the test case for getting these extra-legal requirements changed.
    Last edited by JamesCanby; 05-15-2014 at 01:04 PM.
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    Simple, fill out your notarized renewal app, mail it in, with a $50 check, and (while I don't believe it necessary) a photocopy of your current permit. Mail it certified, return receipt so that you'll have proof that they received it.

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    Last edited by builtjeep; 05-15-2014 at 01:22 PM.

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    Alexandria's "application requirements"...

    http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFile...mentsSheet.pdf

    Another interesting thing... this page on their website indicates there will be (or was..) a period of time where they were 'not accepting applications'??

    http://alexandriava.gov/clerkofcourt...handgun_permit
    Concealed Handgun Permits

    Due to the Police Department’s relocation and the suspension of fingerprinting from October 10 to October 24, the Clerk’s office will not be accepting Handgun Permit Applications. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 703-746-4044.

    Individual must be 21 years of age or older.

    Must apply in the City or County of residence.

    Application must be sworn under oath before a Notary or Clerk of Court.

    Completed application and certificate of competency to carry handgun along with fees submitted to Police Department Identification Department. Contact Clerk or Police Department (703) 838-4444 for more information.

    For information on Concealed Handguns in Virginia see the Virginia State Police Concealed Handgun Permits Information.

    Download Concealed Handgun Permit Application from Virginia State Police site.
    They also incorrectly state that you cannot fire BB guns in the city:

    http://alexandriava.gov/police/info/...d=978#firearms

    Firearms Registration/Handgun Purchases

    The City of Alexandria does not require a permit for gun ownership and does not require guns to be registered.

    No firearm or airgun (BB) can be discharged within the City limits except by law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties. For more information, call 703-838-4530.

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by builtjeep View Post
    Simple, fill out your notarized renewal app, mail it in, with a $50 check, and (while I don't believe it necessary) a photocopy of your current permit. Mail it certified, return receipt so that you'll have proof that they received it.

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    Sure, I could do all of that, but doing so only addresses the requirement that the application must be made in person. The other extra-legal requirements are not challenged by acquiescing to their requirements. The purpose of adhering only to the Commonwealth's requirements is to effect change to Alexandria City's requirements -- not only for renewal but also for new applicants.
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    I said nothing about complying with the other "requirements" send in your renewal with only those things required by STATE law.

    -Completed Application
    -Proof of competency (copy of current permit)
    -Check for no more than $50

    That's it.....Don't send them an envelope, don't send anything other than the items required by law, and have proof that they received it. Then if they refuse to process your application you have standing to take legal action. Don't forewarn them, don't ask jack, they will either comply with the law of refuse.

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by builtjeep View Post
    I said nothing about complying with the other "requirements" send in your renewal with only those things required by STATE law.

    -Completed Application
    -Proof of competency (copy of current permit)
    -Check for no more than $50

    That's it.....Don't send them an envelope, don't send anything other than the items required by law, and have proof that they received it. Then if they refuse to process your application you have standing to take legal action. Don't forewarn them, don't ask jack, they will either comply with the law of refuse.
    The Commonwealth does NOT require a copy of the current CHP to be provided. The SP-248 item 8.M. only requires the applicant to fill in the name of the Circuit Court that issued the permit and the current CHP expiration date. It does not require the submission of a copy of the current CHP.

    My OP actually asked a more basic question: When should the effort to change Alexandria City's extra-legal requirements take place? Before the 180-day window opens up, i.e., by challenging their unauthorized requirements in advance, or by taking that action on the 180th day prior to my CHP's expiration?
    Last edited by JamesCanby; 05-15-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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    I agree that a copy is not required, however there are several members here, with more legal experience than I, who believe that it can be required legally, so that is why I suggested it. As to when to fight it, I don't think there is any real advantage to waiting, I'd mail the application now. You can try contacting them, but in my experience it's less than a 50/50 chance that they will look at the law and agree to change their policies without a fight, and you have much stronger ground to fight after they have refused to process that application (or I should say, 45 days after they receive it).

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by builtjeep View Post
    I agree that a copy is not required, however there are several members here, with more legal experience than I, who believe that it can be required legally, so that is why I suggested it. As to when to fight it, I don't think there is any real advantage to waiting, I'd mail the application now. You can try contacting them, but in my experience it's less than a 50/50 chance that they will look at the law and agree to change their policies without a fight, and you have much stronger ground to fight after they have refused to process that application (or I should say, 45 days after they receive it).
    I can't apply yet. My 180-day renewal window opens up in February. Hence, my desire to clear up their requirements before I can actually apply for renewal. Your point about "standing" may be valid.

    I don't understand how anyone can opine that a copy of the current CHP can be required legally, when the Commonwealth does NOT require it. What cite do they provide in support of their opinion?
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    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...=1#post2035451

    Per Grapeshot. I believe Mike Stollenwerk (sp?) was one of the first to bring this up. As I said, I disagree, as does Dan Hawes, and when I re-sent my application in Petersburg I did not include a copy, but I think they were in a hurry to get mine done and get me and VCDL's attorney out of their hair. My wife did not include a copy with her Petersburg renewal either and got no flack, but again, it was going to a familiar address and she has a last name that they know all too well by now. The code section needs to be clarified, but I doubt that will be happening in the next 4 years.

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    Regular Member Liberty-or-Death's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    ....When should the effort to change Alexandria City's extra-legal requirements take place? ...
    Why wait?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    My current CHP expires in August of 2015, and I can apply for renewal as early as next February (180-day rule).

    Alexandria City currently imposes several extra-legal requirements for renewal:
    • Application must be made in person
    • Application must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope
    • Application requires a copy of the previously-issued CHP
    • If using a military ID for handgun competence, they require "additional documentation/proof of firearm competency" without describing what comprises such documentation
    • The application fee is $50 plus $2 more if using a credit card
    • The application must be Notarized BEFORE submitting it to the Clerk.

    This on-line guidance is dated 04/08/2013, so it is relatively current.

    My question is, should I take pre-emptive action now, well in advance of my earliest renewal submission date, or should I wait until I submit my Commonwealth-compliant application, i.e., by mail, without a SASE, and without a copy of my current CHP to see if they reject it?

    And yes, I am more than willing to be the test case for getting these extra-legal requirements changed.
    I guess it depends on why and what you find objectionable....if you think it violates your 2nd amendment rights, I think that you can file that tomorrow if you wish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I guess it depends on why and what you find objectionable....if you think it violates your 2nd amendment rights, I think that you can file that tomorrow if you wish.
    It's not a 2A issue, McBeth, it's a Virginia Commonwealth Code violation by a Virginia subdivision. I believe that we here in Virginia who know our laws have a pretty good idea of how to address this situation. My question centered around standing and that has been resolved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    It's not a 2A issue, McBeth, it's a Virginia Commonwealth Code violation by a Virginia subdivision. I believe that we here in Virginia who know our laws have a pretty good idea of how to address this situation. My question centered around standing and that has been resolved.
    Well, he might want to make a 2nd amendment argument - its up to the OP. Hence my query.

    And it appears as if you can't handle these issues as they still exist today....you need the help of someone outside the system to offer a fresh perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I guess it depends on why and what you find objectionable....if you think it violates your 2nd amendment rights, I think that you can file that tomorrow if you wish.
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    It's not a 2A issue, McBeth, it's a Virginia Commonwealth Code violation by a Virginia subdivision. I believe that we here in Virginia who know our laws have a pretty good idea of how to address this situation. My question centered around standing and that has been resolved.
    The mere fact licences are even being discussed on an Open Carry forum shows a huge 2A issue.
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    Off topic: it stinks that blocking a user doesn't really block everything.

    On topic: the only advantage I can see to waiting the full time period is to save renewal $. In this scenario however, I can see an advantage in not waiting; if the wrangling takes an extended amount of time, you are not as likely to be without your permit. No? Or am I missing something here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty-or-Death View Post
    Off topic: it stinks that blocking a user doesn't really block everything.

    On topic: the only advantage I can see to waiting the full time period is to save renewal $. In this scenario however, I can see an advantage in not waiting; if the wrangling takes an extended amount of time, you are not as likely to be without your permit. No? Or am I missing something here?

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    L-or-D -

    I think you are missing something. After he submits the renewal paperwork the Clerk has 45 calendar days to either issue the CHP, issue a temporary CHP, or provide a written statement as to why the application was denied so that he can then request an ore tenus hearing before the judge to resolve the matter of being disqualified or not.

    If the Clerk fails to do any of those 3 actions, the solution is to file a Writ of Mandamus to force the Clerk to do her majesterial duty. That may leave the applicant without a valid Virginia CHP until the matter is resolved.

    The applicant cannot legitimately complain against the extra-legal requirements until he is faced with needing to comply or ignore them. He can pre-emptively discuss the issue with the Clerk, but has no actual standing until forced to face the requirements and comply or ignore them. That is usually the negotiating point offered to Clerks - fix the matter now or face legal action later.

    One of the things we learned via the Petersburg matter was that the Secretary of the Virginia Supreme Court can be a powerful ally. - especially when explaining to wayward Clerks that avoiding legal action is the preferred route.

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    What's really the goal...

    I'd suggest starting the corrective process now, and then submit your renewal app strictly by state requirements when it's time to, regardless if they're still screwing up.
    You'd be serving the other applicants in the mean time, if you can get them straightened out sooner than later. Correcting the situation is the goal, not necessarily just catching them with their pants down.
    I leaned on Stafford and Warren Counties, and they made their corrections, whereas Prince William and Chesapeake did not, but I personally only had "standing" in Stafford. There were multiple conversations, time for them to think about it, and then time to make the corrections.
    Getting it corrected is the ultimate goal, and the sooner the better, to reduce the number of victims.
    If they refuse, then a delayed application later could be bolstered with the fact that you have documented efforts over a protracted time of their defiance of the law despite you trying to get them to correct their policies.
    Last edited by ChristCrusader; 05-16-2014 at 07:20 AM.
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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Well, he might want to make a 2nd amendment argument - its up to the OP. Hence my query.

    And it appears as if you can't handle these issues as they still exist today....you need the help of someone outside the system to offer a fresh perspective.
    Apparently you did not read the thread. I *AM* the OP.

    Your Connecticut "perspectives" have no relevance in a topic discussing an issue regarding how a Virginia subdivision may or may not be violating Virginia Commonwealth statutes. One would think you have enough issues in your own state to keep you busy...
    Last edited by JamesCanby; 05-16-2014 at 10:19 AM.
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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rightwinglibertarian View Post
    The mere fact licences are even being discussed on an Open Carry forum shows a huge 2A issue.
    I disagree. This is purely a situation involving a Commonwealth subdivision's attempt to add non-authorized application requirements. They are not trying to deny 2nd Amendment rights, just trying to make it easier for themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty-or-Death View Post
    Off topic: it stinks that blocking a user doesn't really block everything.

    On topic: the only advantage I can see to waiting the full time period is to save renewal $. In this scenario however, I can see an advantage in not waiting; if the wrangling takes an extended amount of time, you are not as likely to be without your permit. No? Or am I missing something here?

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    No, i think you have it right. I'm working on a draft of a DJ submission to try to get the subdivision to amend its application requirements well in advance of when I have to renew my CHP. If it fails, then i will submit my renewal request on the 180th day prior to expiration and only in compliance with Commonwealth statutes.
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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    L-or-D -

    I think you are missing something. After he submits the renewal paperwork the Clerk has 45 calendar days to either issue the CHP, issue a temporary CHP, or provide a written statement as to why the application was denied so that he can then request an ore tenus hearing before the judge to resolve the matter of being disqualified or not.

    If the Clerk fails to do any of those 3 actions, the solution is to file a Writ of Mandamus to force the Clerk to do her majesterial duty. That may leave the applicant without a valid Virginia CHP until the matter is resolved.

    The applicant cannot legitimately complain against the extra-legal requirements until he is faced with needing to comply or ignore them. He can pre-emptively discuss the issue with the Clerk, but has no actual standing until forced to face the requirements and comply or ignore them. That is usually the negotiating point offered to Clerks - fix the matter now or face legal action later.

    One of the things we learned via the Petersburg matter was that the Secretary of the Virginia Supreme Court can be a powerful ally. - especially when explaining to wayward Clerks that avoiding legal action is the preferred route.

    stay safe.
    Skid, I appreciate your remarks, but according to our well-known Virginia legal colleague, I currently have standing to file a Motion for Declaratory Judgement, and I am working up a draft of that filing. If the MfDJ fails, I will submit on the 180th day before my current CHP expires and will do so only in conformance with Commonwealth statutes. If there is pushback on that renewal application, then the WoM will be the next course of action for me.

    My goal in filing the MfDJ is to clear up the discrepancies way in advance and thus help everyone who is applying for or renewing their CHP long before it is time for me to renew.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristCrusader View Post
    I'd suggest starting the corrective process now, and then submit your renewal app strictly by state requirements when it's time to, regardless if they're still screwing up.
    You'd be serving the other applicants in the mean time, if you can get them straightened out sooner than later. Correcting the situation is the goal, not necessarily just catching them with their pants down.
    I leaned on Stafford and Warren Counties, and they made their corrections, whereas Prince William and Chesapeake did not, but I personally only had "standing" in Stafford. There were multiple conversations, time for them to think about it, and then time to make the corrections.
    Getting it corrected is the ultimate goal, and the sooner the better, to reduce the number of victims.
    If they refuse, then a delayed application later could be bolstered with the fact that you have documented efforts over a protracted time of their defiance of the law despite you trying to get them to correct their policies.
    Thanks, CC ... your comments above are my current plan. Please let me know what legal processes you employed, or if they were just conversations. Of special interest is your success in Stafford and Warren -- how did those occur?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    I disagree. This is purely a situation involving a Commonwealth subdivision's attempt to add non-authorized application requirements. They are not trying to deny 2nd Amendment rights, just trying to make it easier for themselves.
    As much as it confuses people sometimes, this isn't a permit issue. It's a matter of the locality NOT obeying state law, which needs to be addressed. I'd discuss it at some length with Philip, James. That way when and if the application is denied or stalled there are resources to immediately respond.

    I would also do it sooner rather than wait for the window to insure the permit doesn't lapse. I've had some experience changing local procedures and it takes a very strong and veiled threat of severe consequences to make them move. I say veiled because it's always easier to have them pretend it was THEIR idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    As much as it confuses people sometimes, this isn't a permit issue. It's a matter of the locality NOT obeying state law, which needs to be addressed. I'd discuss it at some length with Philip, James. That way when and if the application is denied or stalled there are resources to immediately respond.

    I would also do it sooner rather than wait for the window to insure the permit doesn't lapse. I've had some experience changing local procedures and it takes a very strong and veiled threat of severe consequences to make them move. I say veiled because it's always easier to have them pretend it was THEIR idea.
    Thanks for clarifying the issue, Peter -- you said it better than I did. (You always do!) I agree with your advice on contacting Philip and doing it now rather than later. Stay tuned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Thanks, CC ... your comments above are my current plan. Please let me know what legal processes you employed, or if they were just conversations. Of special interest is your success in Stafford and Warren -- how did those occur?
    Just conversations over the phone, starting with whomever answered to whomever they transferred me to, until each one passed the buck on up to the clerk, which required leaving a message and them calling me back.

    Stated one by one the discrepancies, listened to their excuses, cited the law, read the law together over the phone, moments of silence while it sunk in, them deciding to change their office's policy

    Prince William County said she'd think about changing their website to ask for a clearly voluntary SASE, and to give her 3 weeks to do it, but they did not change their wording, and I got busy, haven't followed up. I tried stopping by one day I was in town there, but they wouldn't let my safety boots past their thugs at the door. I'd already walked back to the car after seeing the posting on the door prohibiting cell phones, then walked back to the car when they told me that voice recorders were prohibited too (NOT itemized on the list posted at the door). I wasn't taking my boots off on my third denial of access, because my swollen feet at the time required a shoe horn to get into them, so I gave up. Mind you, I wasn't going to court, just trying to visit the clerk's office... ridiculous! And I was lucky to have even found a parking spot for crying out loud... but I digress...

    ** edit: I just saw on their site that they've added deeper into the body of the page, "Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope or $.50 (optional)". So a little consolation

    Chesapeake was actually Norfolk, sorry, and was limited to an email submission only. I couldn't get past the first thug who answered the phone after 6 different other failures-to-pik-up-and-answer-the-da***d-phone, and have never heard back.
    But now that I've looked at Chesapeake, they're screwed up too, <heavy sigh>

    Warren County Sheriff's also corrected items on their website upon request... very polite and grateful to have been alerted to their glitches.

    Was not meant to be a statewide crusade, just observations along the way when helping others get their permits. Except Stafford, they hoodwinked my wife and I until I read some VCDL posts and mentally went back and reviewed our experience and realized how many things our clerk had us do beyond legislation's parameters.
    Last edited by ChristCrusader; 05-16-2014 at 02:57 PM.
    *I am not a lawyer. Nothing from me shall be construed as a magic cloak of legal advice. It's ultimately your tucas that's on the line. Keep examining the law anyway. The gov't, made up of people like us, is supposed to work for us, not against us. Let's find, correct, and avoid the wrongs before they're actively used against us, or we become innocently trapped by them. We're to be the masters. Let's vigilantly keep tabs on our servants who seek to rule us.

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